I was invited to be a participating artist in the 2014 Richmond Mural Project, hosted by ArtWhino Gallery (DC) & RVA Magazine in Virginia. This was my first time traveling to the southeast of the US and experiencing the reputed ‘southern hospitality’ and painting with a unique set of artists from Europe, Mexico, and the USA. Watching these artists work for the first time, and seeing their different techniques was both inspiring and rewarding. The warm, positive reaction and support of the RMP crew and people of Richmond was amazing! Thank you to everyone involved for making it such a great experience. Special thanks goes to Ben (go-to-guy) & Zach, my main man on the ground for their hard work and assistance in making my walls possible. You guys rock and we couldn’t have done it without you!
This year’s lineup included New York-based artist Ron English, whose work often involves subversive pop imagery, such as an obese Ronald McDonald. It was an honor to paint alongside this year’s talent, including Chazme 718 and Sepe of Poland, Interesni Kazki of Ukraine, Onur of Switzerland, Smitheone of Mexico, and Wes21 of Switzerland.
This was one of the more challenging projects I’ve been involved in, as I painted two BIG solo murals in less than two weeks… in 100ºF weather! Despite losing feeling in my trigger finger, lift dizziness, and a sunburnt set of shoulders, I was super stoked on the results, the other murals, and on how supportive and deserving the city of Richmond is of street-art culture.
Heres a rundown of the two murals & further info on the RMP Project below:
MURAL #1: ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ (side of Pig & Pearl bar) Broad Street.
The idea for this mural came as a result of referencing the location and working around a facade with a lot of windows and obstacles – not an easy task.
The location on Broad Street is high visibility for a lot of passing traffic, so I focused on making a piece that was clean, bold & highly visible as well as complementing the existing colours of the building and surounding area. Special thanks to Beth, Heath & all the great crew working at the P&P for their huge hospitality and feeding us awesome food for the week!!
MURAL #2: ‘Minotaur’ (side of Bacchus restaurant) Cary Town.
Bacchus is a highly regraded Greek/Italian restaurant in RVA, which seemed ideal for me to reference one of my favourite Mythological Villains, the Minotaur. I have featured the Minotaur in several gallery artworks before but never on a wall, so as a symbol of both Love & tragedy, I felt it was a great opportunity and wall to get expressive with an suitable for the city of RVA! Thanks again to Chris & the good people at Bacchus for their hospitality and awesome food!!
INFO: Bringing Richmond a sampling of the great variety of mural work worldwide, just as in past years, the selection of artists will feature a dynamic range of styles and subject matter which creates a unique experience for visitors, providing a glimpse into a worldwide movement in one city. The creation of another 20 murals this year will bring the number to over 68 throughout the city, further establishing the Richmond Mural Project. This edition will continue to build Richmond’s reputation as a go to destination for murals that incite exploration of the city through weekend visits that result in the discovery of the city Richmond itself, with its neighborhoods, businesses, and culture, as visitors hunt for the next mural.”
MISSION: The Richmond Mural Project is a yearly event with the goal of creating over 100 murals by world renown talent in the first 5 years alone. The recurrence and solidification of the project throughout this time will establish Richmond as a landmark destination for internationally recognized murals and will create exposure for the city, establishing it as a premier art destination. By concentrating a large number of murals throughout the city the project will increase tourism and will bring the much needed “Feet on the Street” which will help local business thrive.